Trying to understand

terryl965

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I am really trying to understand the mind concept of today Martial Artist withen TKD, what is it that they really want? Is it really Self Defense or is it self awareness? Maybe it is just to be there and say I am a BB, why is the term BB so important to folks?
 

BrandonLucas

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I am really trying to understand the mind concept of today Martial Artist withen TKD, what is it that they really want? Is it really Self Defense or is it self awareness? Maybe it is just to be there and say I am a BB, why is the term BB so important to folks?

To me, it's both self defense and self awareness. I want to be confident enough in my ability to physically defend myself should the need arise, but I also want to be confident enough to avoid those situations where I would need to defend myself.

My Blackbelt, to me, is like a degree in school. It shows that I know what I'm doing in those situations, but there is always, always room to improve on my current rank and learn more. The belt itself is no more important than my highschool diploma is. It's just a symbol of what I've achieved thus far. Nothing more.

I think alot of people get wrapped up in the idea of being a blackbelt more than actually working to earn the rank. Once many people experience even a small amount of the work that it takes to properly earn a blackbelt, they back out of the art, because they didn't realize that it was going to be that much work. People today are very much about getting the most results from the smallest amount of work possible. Well, as we all know, MA's are not this way.
 

Manny

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My black belt and the following grades (second dan,third dan,etc.etc) are only ranks, nothing more for me , they only says you have been promoted cause you learned well what the teacher's taught you.

I will rather been a very good first dan than a mediocre third dan.

TKD at this moment for me is a way for gaining health and for improving in my SD, nothing fancy like kicking high and spining 360繙 in the air, nop, I only want to learn how to deal with danger if words are not enough and not to be hurt badly.

Manny
 
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terryl965

terryl965

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Manny I agree those jumping spinning jick are for young people Sd is for me at this point and always.
 

miguksaram

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People enter the martial arts for different reasons. Just last night I signed up two kids. When I asked the parents what they were hoping their kids get out of this, one told me his kid does nothing but plays video games so he wanted some sort of activity for him to participate in. The other wanted their kid to start focusing more in school and hear that martial arts was great for this. I had an adult that signed up a few weeks ago. His motivation, needs some exercise and wanted to try martial arts because it looked fun.

Our school is located in a very low crime area and as a result, self defense is not really the #1 reason why people are joining our school or schools in the area. Does that mean we don't teach it or don't empahsize it? Not at all. It just means that we do are best to deliver a well rounded curriculum that will help the individual reach their goal. Some people love the SD some love doing katas, some love sparring. We have a group of kids that love doing competition while we have another group that just enjoy being at the school as a social gathering. Since the average student takes about 4-5 years in achieving a black belt at our school, we rarely find students who are there just to say they are a black belt. Most who stay long enough to earn that rank are usually committed to the art more than the belt.
 

BrandonLucas

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People enter the martial arts for different reasons. Just last night I signed up two kids. When I asked the parents what they were hoping their kids get out of this, one told me his kid does nothing but plays video games so he wanted some sort of activity for him to participate in. The other wanted their kid to start focusing more in school and hear that martial arts was great for this. I had an adult that signed up a few weeks ago. His motivation, needs some exercise and wanted to try martial arts because it looked fun.

Our school is located in a very low crime area and as a result, self defense is not really the #1 reason why people are joining our school or schools in the area. Does that mean we don't teach it or don't empahsize it? Not at all. It just means that we do are best to deliver a well rounded curriculum that will help the individual reach their goal. Some people love the SD some love doing katas, some love sparring. We have a group of kids that love doing competition while we have another group that just enjoy being at the school as a social gathering. Since the average student takes about 4-5 years in achieving a black belt at our school, we rarely find students who are there just to say they are a black belt. Most who stay long enough to earn that rank are usually committed to the art more than the belt.

I think you may be on to something here with the part I bolded.

What people hope to get out of the art could depend a great deal on what their location demands that they get out of the art.

Initially.

I think that once someone starts progressing in the art and earns higher ranks, they become more dedicated to the art itself, and often lose sight of the reason they started in the first place.

That's the way it was for me.

I live in a fairly low-crime area...we still have crime, but I live in a smaller town, so it's not as bad as what other larger towns experience. Anyway, I started in TKD because my parents were concerned that my self esteem had been pretty much crushed by the "well-to-do's" of the community...I tried to play sports, but sat the bench because of who I was, not based on my skill level.

And it did help my self esteem, a great deal, in fact. But, I would say that after green belt or so, I started to immerse myself into training as much as I could to learn the art, not so much so that I could feel better about myself, but because I genuinely wanted to. I realized that it was fun, and I was good at it.

What I'm getting at here is that some people are going to join for various reasons, and once those reasons are fullfilled, they may stop attending class. Others may go for whatever reason, and then realize that this is something that they thoroughly enjoy, and make it a lifetime thing.
 

Manny

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When I started TKD was beacuse I wanted to know how to defend myself in fact that was my point of view of MA, name it karate, name it judo, name it kung fu, named it tae kwon do. I was a tall and slender kid that doesn't knew how to defend himself, a couple of bullies hurted me in high school and wanted only to know how to deal with people who wanted to hurt me, read SELF DEFENSE please. That was my aproach and that's what I was training for. Competition Sparring never was a priority for me, in fact I disliked to go tornaments.

My goal is and will to be prepared to deal with bad people, period.

I want to learn (I never stop learning) how to disarm a BG I want to know how to put down two or three BG, that's all.

In the kids class we have, one kid (Tony) who is a tiger he only loves to do sparring and breaking bords, anything elese it's to booring for him, in the other hand we had Horatio, some times I feel Horatio does not belong to the dojan, is a very shy kid, softh spoken,why a little spirit and in some cases lazzy, Robert is a kid that loves TKD (is Tony's oldest brother) hes not so gifthed like Tony's but he puts all his effort, and I can go on and on on the psyque of every child.

You are right, people train TKD for many reasons.

Right now my reason are three. a) To get healt, b) To learn more about SD and c) Cause I like it.

Manny
 

HM2PAC

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Why do people train? I guess it's different for each person.

Our Dojang has a number of people all with different motivations.

1. People who need SD training.
2. People with self esteem issues who need to learn assertive behavior.
3. People who need to get in shape.
4. People who like martial arts and want to learn TKD to fine tune their kicks.
5. Families looking for a way to stay bonded to each other.
6. Goal oriented people who want a BB.
7. People who feel a need to belong to a group with some commonality.

I see all of these people in our classes. They are all my classmates. We sweat and spar together. We stretch and moan and groan together.

Why do people put such great emphasis on a BB? Because WE put such emphasis on a BB. It is a symbol of excellence, leadership, dedication,.....the list goes on.
 

matt.m

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You know everyone starts a journey for a different reason. I am seeing a lot of people want to "Rush" and "Race" for the black belt, I have seen "soccer moms" compare there kids on who was going to do better, etc. I wanted to throw up when I heard all the comparison chitter chatter behind me. Geez, it took me forever to get my 2nd dan in Judo. I don't know, some people want to get into tkd for the "Olympic" aspect. Some think "It's Cool." Kids are big into watching martial arts on cartoons and seeing "TKD" and saying "Wow, I can do that."

It is just too bad that there are so many buy your BB joints that have watered down, dilluted and in my opinion destroyed martial arts. It is almost like "Gee, I have broadband, a cell phone, and well it 'SHOULD' only take a yr. to get a black belt.

The worst part of the above paragraph is that all too often it is a true strory. I know several black belts who still can't do O-Jang without help. That to me is just sad.
 

Deaf Smith

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I am really trying to understand the mind concept of today Martial Artist withen TKD, what is it that they really want? Is it really Self Defense or is it self awareness? Maybe it is just to be there and say I am a BB, why is the term BB so important to folks?

Terry,

Why is it so important to people today? Status. Nothing more. They see it on TV and movies. Looks cool. I see many people start but few stick with it cause they find that cool takes to much effort.

When I was a yellow belt, I just wanted to be a green belt. When I got to green belt, I told myself I'd stop at red belt. When I got to red belt, and after Chu passed away, I didn't think I'd ever make black.

Well years pass and now I'm 5th. Big harry deal.

When I tell students that I'm sure they think, "easy for him to say, look at those strips on that belt", but the honest truth is, I'm just a black belt. The strips mean NOTHING. I now know I don't know, and the more I know, the more I know I don't know!

All this black belt means to me is I understand a little bit. Nothing more. If I could get away with it, I'd just wear my first actual black belt. It has no name on it. Just a plain black belt. No big deal.

And as I have posted, self defense and physical fitness is my main priority. I'm sure not out to find myself, nor to 'grow' or become spiritual. Those last two are part of my religion, and the martial arts are not my religion.

And I just don't care about 'cool'. I must be getting near geezer ville!

Deaf
 

garrisons2

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I perhaps have a different perspective than some , that is the kids or parent of kids, or those in their late teens or early twenties. As some of you know, I am 50 years old and have always considered myself active and athletic, I used to run alot and lift weights recreationally. However in recent years I have noticed that my abilities have markedly decreased, particularly as it relates to my mind telling my body what to do and then doing it. Also, I am the type of person that gets into something with a passion, that at times is consuming. Some years back I decided to learn how to fly and get my private pilots license, it was harder and more challenging, and also more rewarding than I thought. It was not so much the accomplishment, but the process.

in TKD I've been at it for 21 months, am a high colored belt and love it. I no for certain that I have made progress in my mind telling my body what to do faster, lost about 10 lbs, and have met some great people along the way. I selected a dojang that has been around for a long time, I vividly remember my first conversation with one of the masters (not the grandmaster, and no employment stake), he bascially said that you can go right down the street to Bally's for half the price, but that is not what we are about.

Anyway, back to why I'm doing it at least 3 days a week and continue to do it at the same place, despite not working around there anymore and living over 30 miles away, is as follows:

1. I love trying to physically and mentally persevre - I try my hardest to hand in there with the young black belts that predominate the afternoon class

2. As new people and kids come in, I enjoy helping them

3. I have no illusions that this, even with a black belt is the panacea in terms of self defense. but I know for certain that my mind and body will react much more instinctively to a threat. I can give you to example, the first is a couple months back when I saw an old freind at the community center, Iapproached him from behind(he btw has a couple BB's in MA) and he reflexively turned and pulled back a punch when he saw it was me, at the same instant I without thinking executed a high block that would have stopped it even if he didn't pull back. The second "incident" was when my wife came up on my be suprise, I reflexively went into a knife hand middle block, instantly and without thinking. Those 2 inocuous data points lead me to believe that I am on the right path of bringing my mind and body closer together, such that if and whe n the time comes I will be better prepared.

For those that say TKD is obsolete, with MMA and BJJ all the rage through Ultimate Fighting I say the following. I admire what those people do, the pain they take and infllict, the skill they have tremendously, however from a practical perspective any real life self defense is over before it hits the ground, its the initial attack, counter and possibly the counter to that that decide the conflict, with TKD and some Hapkido I like my chances against the average moron/terrorist.


Happy Thanksgiving all
 

Kacey

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There are as many reasons to start martial arts as there are students of martial arts - more, probably, as there are plenty of people who play with the idea of starting martial arts training and never do.

One of my students started because he wanted to do something that he could share with his daughter, and TKD was what they agreed on (and they have both been my students for 4-1/2 years, and earned their black belts - still training together - in October).

One of my students was enrolled because his grandmother wanted him in an activity where he would have positive adult role models (I know both of his parents - and neither one is a great role model) and learn some discipline.

Another joined because his roommate was in the class, and talked him into it; the roommate is long gone, but the second one to come is still there.

Yet another joined because she wanted to learn to defend herself.

I started because the guy I was dating at the time spent months talking me into it; it was never something I was interested in until I started, and then I couldn't stop.

There's no one answer to your question, because everyone's reasons for starting, and for staying, are different.
 

granfire

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MA and the BB.

I like Martial Arts. Always have. It is fascinating, in so many aspects. I am also a fan of eastern philosophy - wouldn't call myself student though.

Body awareness, power, self-control.

the Black belt on the other hand is quiet unimportant to me. I got one in just under 2 years, and I am still feeling my limitations.

I had noticed a young girl, 16, putting it reverse while sparring. Agile young lady, powered by ADHD. I had to remind her, just because I tied my new Black Belt around my waist I had not morphed into a super fighter. besides she was running backwards so fast i couldn't keep up. It is the beginning of learning to me. I learned my ABCs, to walk, now the good stuff is taught.

The myth of the belt was cemented in the 70s I do believe. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and the legacy they left to us on film.
 

igillman

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I can only speak for myself but I started to do some exercise, lose weight and to have fun. The concept of lifting weights, running on a treadmill etc... did not appeal to me as it looks far too boring. The martial arts looked like it would get me fit and it would be fun too. Why TKD? Well, my son had just started and it was convenient. Getting a BB does not interest me. Yes it would be nice but it is not a necessity.

Incidentally, I still cannot go back yet, the blood pressure is still too high. I have just been put on some more medication so hopefully that will take it down to normal.
 

miguksaram

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Terry,

Why is it so important to people today? Status. Nothing more. They see it on TV and movies. Looks cool. I see many people start but few stick with it cause they find that cool takes to much effort.

I would have to disagree on this. Perhaps a decade or so ago this might have been a big reason, but now and days it seems like most kids get some sort of exposure to martial arts via park district, local YMCA or actual school. So it really isn't a big deal. Sort of like saying my son is in a soccer league...big deal have of my suburban neighbors are into soccer. The same is true for martial arts.
 

YoungMan

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The wonderful thing about Taekwondo is that it has so much to offer, and different people practice for different reasons. Not only that, but looking down your nose at people who practice for a reason other than why you think they should practice ("Taekwondo practice should be for self defense!") is short sighted. It is a Way of Life precisely because it is holistic and more than just about self defense.
I think the black belt is still special for a lot of people, and that's why they reach for one. If you assume that 1% of people practice a martial art, and 1% of THEM will make black belt, then having a legitimate black belt puts you with about .5% of the population, less as you advance. That's pretty special.
 

karatemom

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For me it was about self defense and getting in shape. I think in a way achieving the BB status gives you a sense of feeling like you arrived but in fact it's just the beginning of of your MA journey.
 

granfire

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The wonderful thing about Taekwondo is that it has so much to offer, and different people practice for different reasons. Not only that, but looking down your nose at people who practice for a reason other than why you think they should practice ("Taekwondo practice should be for self defense!") is short sighted. It is a Way of Life precisely because it is holistic and more than just about self defense.
I think the black belt is still special for a lot of people, and that's why they reach for one. If you assume that 1% of people practice a martial art, and 1% of THEM will make black belt, then having a legitimate black belt puts you with about .5% of the population, less as you advance. That's pretty special.

That is so true.

I gave a friend of mine a picture my husband took at rank testing. She about cried! She had started a couple of month ahead of me, but never tested. She never thought she'd be able to pass.

She was brought up in a cult like environment, crazy family, to move on into an abusive marriage and along the way being picked clean like road kill by the bussards. TKD was therapeutic for her so she finally was able to stand up for herself.

Oh, she was a greenbelt in the picture I gave her. Not she is a 2 degree lever 3 Blackbelt in the ITA and certified instructor! Ideally, once you get there, the Black belt should be a way of life, internalized, so the outer insignia of this achievement has reltively little meaning...does that make sense?
 

Sylo

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For me, martial arts carrys several things..

1. It looks fun, and looks interesting
2. even though I live in a low crime area, its still nice to know I can carry my own.
3. Its the only form of exercise I can stick to for an extended period.
4. I would like to teach one day, and give back what I have learned.
 
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